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Location/Geography: In southeast Utah, Montezuma and San Juan counties. Nearest city: Cortez, Colorado, and Blanding, Utah. Area: 785 acres. High desert west of Cortez; a series of river valleys feeding into lower McElmo Creek and the San Juan River from Cajon Mesa on the Utah-Colorado border.

Spotlight: Hovenweep (sometimes spelled "Hovenweap") is one of the more unusual ruins in the Southwest. Its remote layout is also one of the last communities of the Ancestral Puebloans. Here is found a remarkable construction of singular designs of dwellings, almost a Medieval castle impression complete with an engaging watchtower. What was the intended function of the square and round-tower shapes? This austere and outback setting is a possible astronomical site similar to Chaco, though diminutive by comparison.

Snapshot: Paleo-Indian culture was here as early as 13,001 years ago and possibly a lot longer. Later, hunter-gatherers continued to inhabit the area. This was long after agriculture and farming were introduced around 501. Favorable climate typifies the attraction to this sector and for a variety of primal cultures, especially the Ancestral Puebloans. Sometime between 1151 and 1201 they decided to live here, and for reasons we don’t fully understand. (By some accounts, the reason may have centered on defense, and thus a purposeful isolation from possible enemies). The Ancestral Puebloans later constructed larger pueblos around fortress-like towers at the heads of box canyons. They also laid out cultivated fields in areas where water could be better managed. Since the only large body of water remotely close to Hovenweep is the San Juan River, the people relied more on springs and seeps for fresh water for their needs as well as for agriculture. Hovenweep’s setting is also noted for its solitude and undeveloped, natural character. For a time, this barren and ranging landscape, due west of the famed Sleeping Ute Mountain (overlooking Cortez and the desert country to the west), might have seemed a desert oasis. Of course, the paleo climate was much different than in recent times. Heavier rainfall with more moderate temperatures were typical, and it's believed the soil base throughout the region was also deeper. Given its fairly remote location, Hovenweep was proclaimed a national monument in 1923. Its setting is indeed a rarity of archeological sites, mainly due to the unique building design of the many engaging dwellings.

(Continues after the fold.)

Guided Tour Essentials: There are seven towers fifteen to twenty feet (4.5 to 6 m) tall. The site represents what might be construed as the final stand of the Ancestors before most of these people vacated the Colorado Plateau, never to return. Round and square architecture found here is truly unique, even awe-inspiring. These monuments are like stone pillars built with a main purpose on this, the Colorado-Utah border west of Cortez.

These were also the last form of architecture erected in the Four Corners region. Most overlooked the fertile fields cultivated by Hovenweep’s inhabitants. None of the structures are thought to be signal stations per se. They are, instead, more like defensive watchtowers erected to protect the fields and their invaluable crops. Tapped water resources (i.e., check dams) under the caprock and a defensive community in case of warfare added to the advantages of this somewhat remote settlement. Hovenweep’s Puebloan-era village is spread over a 20-mile expanse of mesa tops and canyons. The monument hosts a variety of dwellings: Cutthroat Castle, the largest of all the ruins, the Square Tower unit, and the cluster of dwellings belonging to the Holly, Cajon and Horseshoe groups. There is fine masonry detail in all these dwellings. Square Tower, Hovenweep Castle and Hovenweep House were all baronial, each multi-storied perched on the canyon rim and balanced on boulders. Large stone towers, living quarters, among other similar shelters and granaries were also constructed. Maize, beans and squash were typical crops farmed here (i.e., the so-called "three sister" crops).

Along with large and small game, the people collected berries and somehow sustained their culture on a landscape that had turned more arid over the centuries. Although the climate has dramatically changed over the centuries, in their time the community who turned this frontier desert setting into a sustainable habitat cultivated terraced fields and constructed reservoirs and a network of check dams to divert water to where it was most needed. They also managed to live and thrive for centuries in an increasingly hostile environment. Then came the Great Drought sometime around 1279. Before long, the people abandoned the valley and migrated elsewhere (as did most other Ancestral Puebloan communities). No other contemporary Native American tribes have since inhabited this dry, dusty and usually hot, deserted valley in the middle of nowhere. Indeed, the name "Hovenweep" is a Southern Paiute word meaning deserted valley. A deserted valley in view of the most iconic mountainous landmark throughout today's so-named Four Corners region, the Sleeping Ute mountain:

Despite the seeming advantages of Hovenweep’s watchtowers a massacre occurred here, as well as those committed at the base of the Sleeping Ute and Sand Canyon. Here in this isolated setting it was a surgical strike, a devastating attack that mostly killed the young and older inhabitants of the community. Likely, the raid occurred long after the residents of this sector were asleep. The invaders would go to no limits getting what these warmongers intended. It was also a reminder to other Ancestral Puebloans that what happened here would continue to happen to those who were caught and did not flee. These alleged atrocities were part of the late 13th Century’s sobering changes that affected parts of the Colorado Plateau, including drought, social unrest, and the stress placed on the environment due to diminishing resources. Hovenweep might very well be the last cultural stronghold that could not continue into the new century.


Note: Stronghold sites, like Hovenweep, were almost a last line of defense in the face of known enemies that pursued some of the settlements with the sole intention of slaughtering the inhabitants in the cruelest of methods. Increasing conflict at the time and a vast number of people joining communities for better protection and defense was common throughout this region. Burgeoning population, as well as pushing natural resources to the limits, contributed to escalating social conflict and societal unease. Were the attackers perpetrated by the Ancestral Puebloans themselves, possibly empowered or at least influenced by the people far to the south, there where the Mayans built their civilization? The answer has never been resolved by cultural scientists, other than the presumption the aggressors were akin to dead squads that practiced violence for its own esoteric purposes. What is known about the Ancestral Puebloans relative to their culture is that they were not just a group of one people; they were made up of many different groups, consolidated into a single cultural identity. Multiple ethnicities were also proven. Some groups within a community settlement even displayed (as skeletal structures) differing heights, facial and head features.

Human History: Like Mesa Verde and so many archeological ruin sites throughout the Four Corners region, Hovenweep’s secluded setting was discovered by Anglos in 1854 when artifacts found here were looted by professional and amateur souvenir hunters, along with artifacts from other regional ruins, especially Mesa Verde. It is not known how many people lived here, though it is assumed there were hundreds. Mentioned previously, cultural scientists suspect the inhabitants came here for protection from their enemies. Like other regional sites near Cortez, Sand Canyon in particular, also around the base of the regional Sleeping Ute Mountain, signs of warfare are visible, especially toward the end of the Ancestors occupied territory on the Colorado Plateau around the late 1300s. These dwellings at Hovenweep, and because of their distinctive design (see below), suggest a smaller community of Ancestors built these magnificent structures and had something else in mind other than a place to live and work. The monument consists of six clusters of exquisite ruins unlike any others. Four of these clusters are in Colorado (Holly and Hackberry Canyons, Cutthroat and Goodman Point), while two are in Utah (Square Tower and Cajon).

Note: For a more complete background on relative human history and an archeological timeline, please consider reading these diaries:

http://www.dailykos.com/...
http://www.dailykos.com/...

The Archeoastronomy Significance Of Hovenweep: Another exceptional aspect, indeed a rather strange and intriguing point about these ruins, is the renown Hovenweep Castle (in the Square Tower Group), an apparent solar calendar site. If true, Hovenweep may also have been a designated centralized religious community similar to Chaco Canyon.

Note: For a thorough background on Chaco Canyon, please considering reading these diaries:

http://www.dailykos.com/...
http://www.dailykos.com/...

This particular ruin site is also perfectly aligned so that light is channeled through openings into the building at sunset during the summer and Winter Solstice; also, during the spring and fall equinox. Sunlight therefore falls in a predictable pattern on interior door lintels. Anytime there is a consistent forecast with respect to the heavens a likely connection entails a specific design and locale for constructing a dwelling. In this case, the slots and doors of this fascinating castle design have been shown to define an apparent solar calendar. Two ports in this high, large tower admit rays from the sun into the interior room, with the assumption the building was built in this locale for this express purpose: a solar calendar design. The so-called equinox port also points to the sunrise azimuth, but not on the typical March 21/22 day, rather four days after. One explanation for this anomalous fact is the consequence of a method for establishing the equinox azimuth by counting and halving the number of days between the winter and summer solstices (respectively, December and June 21st). Apart from the probably astronomical significance of Hovenweep, it’s the construction design and technique that makes this setting remarkable compared to many others sites within the Cortez region.
Note: For a thorough background on this fascinating subject (archeoastronomy), please considering reading these diaries:

http://www.dailykos.com/...
http://www.dailykos.com/...
http://www.dailykos.com/...

Construction Techniques: The construction of Hovenweep's design shows ingenuity of architecture. These imaginative people were exceptional builders who demonstrated expert masonry skills and engineering. However, they did not level foundations for their structures. Like the Sinagua who built Wupatki overlooking the Painted Desert (near present-day Cameron, Arizona). Instead, these inhabitants of Hovenweep constructed various and innovative designs to match the uneven surfaces of planed rock slabs, making construction techniques exceptional when compared to other archeological sites. For example, the towers at Hovenweep were built in a variety of shapes: ovals, circles, squares, even D-shapes. In view of these singular shapes, Hovenweep's stone pueblos were commonly referred to as castles by early-20th Century explorers.

Tower functions are also subject to speculation. For example, these structures have limited access and few windows, while in the same space there are numerous slots, looking like peepholes, placed into the walls at various levels. No one knows for sure why these special modifications were added. The towers are also often linked to ceremonial places, like ceremonial kivas, in that they are generally accessed through a tunnel.

Parting shots:

Directions: The Visitor Center and Square Tower Group is north and west of Cortez, Colorado. The recommended routes are to start from either Hwy. 191, turning east on UT 262, or from Hwy. 160 near Cortez, and turn north on 402. Montezuma County Road G is the longest and most sinuous route through the cultivated landscape along McElmo Creek, and it goes right past the entrance to the Canyons of the Ancients NM. This route may also be the most scenic and atmospheric. However, Hwy. 191 is the most used approach, either south from Blanding, Utah, or from Pleasant View, Colorado.

Contact Information: Hovenweep National Monument, McElmo Route, Cortez CO 81321. Phone (visitor information): 970-562.4282 ext. 10; Fax 562.4283. Email embedded in NPS site’s URL (click on “Email Us”)

And so, DKos community, we come to the end of another trail, another armchair tour. There will be other scenic places to tour and more supplemental topics to read and think about, so stay tuned for a continuation in this series.

As always, your thoughtful commentaries are welcomed.

Rich
http://www.nmstarg.com/...
http://www.grandcanyon.org/...

FYI: For a list of all diaries posted to date, please see the growing inventory by clicking on my profile or by dialing in this URL: http://www.dailykos.com/...

Also, if commenting on an older diary, please send an email to my profile account. That way I am sure to notice it and respond in a timely manner. Gracias. Also, feel free to use this diary's information, or any other diary that I’ve posted, but it would appreciated if you can site the original source. Gracias.

All photos, unless otherwise indicated, are educational in purpose and intent and are taken from the Creative Commons contributors site. Ergo, the URL’s are embedded into the diary as licensure for non-commercial use only (i.e., “Fair Use” policy).

Originally posted to richholtzin on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 07:54 AM PDT.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots, National Parks and Wildlife Refuges, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Crow Canyon, maybe? (8+ / 0-)

      Or McElmo? I tried that archeological hard work for a time or two or three. . .back-breaking, sometimes hot, dry and dusty, meticulous archeology procedures, but also enjoyable. Later I added these two places to my company's tour offerings (www.ecosouthwest.com which is no longer extant). The clients actually paid money to toil with fellow diggers and loved every bit of it. Anyway, thanks for posting your comments. For some reason, Hovenweep has always been one of my very special and favorite haunts to visit. The walk around the ruins is highly recommended, besides. What singular and fascinating dwellings these folks built. I think it was also the last outpost, or one of them, for the Ancestral Puebloans before headed off the Colorado Plateau and into a brave new world, here in New Mexico.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 08:10:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You're in my neighborhood again! (9+ / 0-)

    First, if you go, do not miss Sand Canyon & McElmo canyon! Both worth the drive!

    And, my doggie, Lil Chris, was born on a ranch in Aneth Utah. Even around here, no one has heard of tiny Aneth. And yet, right there it is on one of your maps! Chris says "Aneth in da house!"

    Again-if you go to Hovenweep-you'll be well served by combining a couple days at Mesa Verde Nat. Park. A 'short' drive away...
    But don't bother with The Four Corners Monument. Total letdown. Pretty much just a medallion in the ground where the four States meet. Sure, you can put a foot in CO & NM & a hand in both AZ & UT...meh. Too long a drive to look at a parking lot & plaque, imo.

    But Hovenweep itself is cool. Pretty spread out, very desert-y, great colors, interesting ruins...a good spot!

    The better I know people, the more I like my dog.

    by Thinking Fella on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 08:27:09 AM PDT

    •  right on... (8+ / 0-)

      your ancillary comments, Thinking Fella, and a nicely arranged local tour that gets 'er done. And I'm with you....the 4 corners place....overly commercialized, but the good deed is it supports the Navajos, whom I think are now charging an entry fee??? Anyway, local artists hawk their wares and stuff, and there is traditional fry bread, and maybe even Navajo tacos, so anytime visitors can help support these people, hell, I'm all for that. Besides, it's kind of fun laying on one's belly and placing two legs and two arms in each of the quadrants. It's also the only place in America where four states form a keystone merger. As always, thanks for your comments and I always welcome add-on info that I may not have thought of when drafting the diary. I just can't pay you folks for same. HA! Matter of fact, I can't even pay myself, but I sure love doing these diaries because. . .believe it or not. . .this is really mental therapy for me given the high stress times I'm trying to get through. Writing is such a catharsis of the soul for me, besides.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 08:55:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You have a point (9+ / 0-)

        re: supporting locals who have stalls for food & souveniers at 4 Corners. And I suppose you're right about putting a limb in 4 different States. I mean, that's cool, but...when you arrive at Mesa Verde or Hovenweep(or Canyons of the Ancients), I am WOW'd. The vista's take up your entire line of sight. In fact, the area's are so large that you can't see everything at once. It's impressive stuff. Whereas I found the 4 Corners plaque a 'park, walk over, look, take a pic, put 4 limbs in 4 States, walk back to the car...'. Different strokes for different folks. I could imagine kids getting hyped for 4 corners, and it IS unique. I prefer the beauty & grandeur of the places near the monument.

        Also, for the folks who are unfamiliar with the area: there are many, many places very worth visiting within 2-3-4 hours of driving. Places like Moab, UT, Arches Nat Park, Canyonlands Nat Park. The Four Corners has tons of places to be impressed by, and those places are spread in all 4 States that make up the 4C's. Heading in any direction from the 4 C's monument will yield many easily accessible awesome places--hence richholtzin's great diary series!

        The better I know people, the more I like my dog.

        by Thinking Fella on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 09:12:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  another fine commentary. . . (5+ / 0-)

          and reminder, Thinking Fella, so thanks for the insight (again). Also, I think 3 Kivas ruins in in the Hovenweep area, certainly lots of canyons in that vicinity, and one or two that are headed for wilderness protection, I'm told. I will do a writeup (another diary) one of these days and cover the terrain and get folks interested in a lot of outback country and ruins that is worth exploring. The San Juan coursing through that region also abets the reason why there are so many ruins in that wide, far region. The most difficult part, however, is figuring out the braid of BLM roads. That's what got me turned around many times in those excursions. I'm not a bad topographical mapper (for I did that sort of thing for the Forest Service) or orieinteering with maps, but for some reason those BLM and county roads are a bear to track the right course. Anyway, thanks, again, for another fine posting of a commentary. And you're right about how rich that sector is given all the wonders to see in that Four Corners region, like inviting spokes radiating from the wheel of the monument itself.

          Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

          by richholtzin on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 12:19:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Very nice diary, Rich. I have, somewhere, (8+ / 0-)

        an 1970 photo of me, hubby and our two little girls each standing in our "own" state at Four Corners. Yeah, corny but fun, and the kids enjoyed it. There was nothing there but the monument and sand and sky, as I remember -- no one else around.

        •  sounds like when I last visited. . . (6+ / 0-)

          but of course, now I remember: the wind was nearly gale force; people's hair, including my own, was flying straight out, and if you opened your mouth you got a free teeth cleaning, compliments of the wind-blown sand. Otherwise, it was fun being there for the first time and doing the four points coverage thing. I was happy I had all four limbs available to do the silly stunt. Ah well.

          Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

          by richholtzin on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 12:13:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It was warm and sunny when we were there, (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Thinking Fella, Munchkn, KenBee

            I don't remember excessive wind either -- just a lovely day!

            •  but the wind can blow. . . (5+ / 0-)

              in that part of the desert and it's quite the roaring and oscillating tonal music when it does. I mean, you really have to watch which way you spit, if that's your thing!

              Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

              by richholtzin on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 01:56:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  We had just come from the Ozarks, (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Thinking Fella, Munchkn, KenBee

                where it was very warm and sticky, then across Oklahoma and Texas. It was so nice getting far enough west to escape that oppressive humidity -- I guess if there was any breeze it probably felt pretty good!

                •  which is why I prefer... (5+ / 0-)

                  the climate in the Southwest. The rest of the country is sure handsome enough, all different views depending on the geography or topographical landmarks. But I am most assuredly spoiled with dryness, while others can't stand it. Each to his or her own, huh?

                  Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

                  by richholtzin on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 02:19:11 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yes, another reason I like eastern Oregon! (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Thinking Fella, KenBee

                    Moved here from Coos Bay in 1970. OMG, I was SO glad to feel the sun and to live where you don't have to spray the roses for mildew every two weeks! I've heard that we get 320 days of sunshine per year here... don't know if that's totally accurate, but we do have sunshine and, sometimes at least, it's a dry heat!

                    •  Coos Bay. . . (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      RiveroftheWest, KenBee

                      I have a very good and long-standing friend, living in Coos Bay, a professor who is now retired from SWOAC. Will wonders never cease? I mean, where you used to live. How I loved Ashland, when I visited there many years ago, a few times, and Eugene. . .what a wonderful state you live in and all those wild rivers I used to run, as a boatmen...dog-leg Class 4 or 5 most of 'em (during the wildest c.f.s. in the spring runoff. Taught me a thing or two about proper 'reading' of the rivers, I can tell you. Where in the east do you now live, by the way, oh kindred spirit? (I would have moved to Oregon a long time ago had it not been for so much rain! Portland is a most excellent locale, methinks, except, again, for the fact I love rain, sure, but not so much in one major dumping throughout the year. HA!

                      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

                      by richholtzin on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 07:04:33 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  When I moved from the Oregon Coast (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        KenBee

                        to the Columbia Gorge, I traded 60" of rain per year for 14". Amazing, though I think we might have gained some humidity, if not rainfall, since. I can see the Columbia ("Great River of the West")from my window, and across to the Washington hills.

                        I took some classes at SWOCC; it had an excellent art department. And Ashland? The first place we lived in Oregon, summer of '61, was just south of Talent. Ashland was just about 4 miles down the road; I loved it too, my older daughter learned to walk on the trail through Lithia Park.

                        Now the new organic family farm is being created on my late parents' land near Roseburg, not too far from Eugene. You really do know this place, Rich!

                        Thanks for a delightful diary!

                        •  Know the area well... (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          RiveroftheWest

                          your neck of the woods, I mean, and was once tempted to move to Portland. Most excellent city, as is Eugene (second choice for a Ph.D residency, possibly), and Ashland, the best repertoire theater in America, so the reputation goes, and I have to agree those folks put on some damn fine Bard stuff (my favorite author, with Twain right up there and next to him), and so on. Did some climbing in your lovely state. Could never get over the fact people can't pump their own gas at the station, but what the hell...they still do washing windows and check the oil, and your state has a very liberal view on people have the right to choose their own death and time. All in all...a very tempting state to move to, except all that rain!!! I love rain (and love Europe for this fact, because I lived in Paris for so long)...but I have to say my heart and soul belong to the dry, tepid desert-canyon country. Anyway, I just got an email from my prof friend who retired from SWOCC and I'll have to mention there's another fine Oregonian I now know. Thanks for posting your comments. We'll continue our repartee via the profile email setup.  

                          Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

                          by richholtzin on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 05:24:35 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for posting (8+ / 0-)

    I know little about the area, so it's always good to learn something new.

    Hige sceal þe heardra, heorte þe cenre, mod sceal þe mare, þe ure mægen lytlað

    by milkbone on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 08:42:34 AM PDT

    •  do visit here some day. . . (9+ / 0-)

      milkbone, because I think Hovenweep is the best of the smaller best when it comes to archeological ruins. This so-called "deserted valley" (from whence the national monument gets its name) is replete with some kind of energy, call it spiritual, and this may sounds nuts to you, but I always sense the Ancestral Puebloan presence here more than any other place (well, with the exception of Chaco Canyon). Anyway, glad you got to know this setting and I thank you kindly for posting your comment.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 08:58:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiveroftheWest

        Hovenweep just feels special and I know exactly the feeling you are describing.  Probably why it is one of my favorites, too!

        When a whole nation is roaring Patriotism at the top of its voice, I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and the purity of its heart. - Emerson

        by foolrex on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 09:55:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  almost missed this. . . (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest

          wow, what a beauty; what fine, fine work and detail given this picture you took. No wonder Hovenweep is still one of my all-time special places on the planet. Always felt that way since I first set eyes on the setting in 1970. Gives me the haunting feeling I once lived here with these people.

          Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

          by richholtzin on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 02:08:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  rich, check your images (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueyedace2, RiveroftheWest, KenBee

    a couple seem to be broken.

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 10:16:34 AM PDT

  •  We were there several years ago. (6+ / 0-)

    As quiet a place as one could want.  I don't think we saw even 10 other people out there.  Just you and the ruins, and the wind whistling in your ears.  

    I'm not always political, but when I am I vote Democratic. Stay Democratic, my friends. -The Most Interesting Man in the World

    by boran2 on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 12:35:12 PM PDT

    •  I ditto your remarks. . . (4+ / 0-)

      because every time I've been to the P forest it was the same for me. It is likely the least crowded national monuments in the litany, and yet a fascinating place in all respects
      (well, it used to be this way). Talk about an overdose of the big 3 S's: solitude, solemnity and silence! A lovely and haunting place, too (haunting in a good way, of course). I sometimes got the feeling I once lived there, but that's not meant to open up the Edgar Cayce debate. HA!

      As always, thanks for posting your comments, boran2

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 01:53:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I Grew up and went to High School in (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest, KenBee

    Dolores, went to the Drive-In Movies in Cortez,

    Sorry I never got to see this Lovely Place...

    U.S. Navy '64-'85 | The man who knows and knows he knows not is a wise man.. - The ink of scholars is worth more than the blood of martyrs.

    by OpherGopher on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 03:09:53 PM PDT

    •  what a place to have lived. . . (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, KenBee

      in Delores. Wow! I used to bring Elderhostel students to your neck of the woods (now known as the "Road Scholar" program and wished I had been born and raised in such a culturally-alive locale. I'm thinking you garner very special memories of a truly epic center of Ancestral Puebloan activity once defined that entire region. Thank you for your comment. I'm thinking you were quite aware of the cultural significance of that cultural hotbed there in the Four Corners region. I hope one day you will one day return to that very special part of Colorado.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 06:58:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Another destination in the area (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest, Munchkn, KenBee, kurt, UTvoter

    is the BLM's Anasazi Heritage Center.  I really was impressed with the museum here - I believe I've mentioned it in another diary for the area.

    http://www.blm.gov/...

    •  yep, and you did. . . (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, KenBee, ColoTim

      I have a diary in the queue, this time on the nearby Canyons of the Ancients, and, of course, both are essentially the same historical thread in continuum, though in different names. Anyway, thanks for reminding me, Colo Tim. Should be close to the time for my activating same. Exceptional museum of artifacts at both locales, I' think.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 06:52:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I've been to Mesa Verde back in '75 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KenBee

    We were dropping off my brother for his summer job at Yellowstone and decided to go to the desert Southwest before heading back east.  I did not think to go to Hovenweep although I knew a little about it.  Heck, we didn't even visit Grand Canyon!  Had a great trip nonetheless.

    •  And there's that long-standing adage. . . (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, KenBee

      There's always the next time, Munchkn, for a return to see the places you missed on your last visit. I'm thinking Hovenweep should be on your itin, as it should be on most itineraries, because it is, one assumes, the last bastion, the last defense, of the Ancestral Puebloans, before their great diaspora iin the late 13th Century. Those citadels and odd-shaped ruins are more then awe-inspiring. I'm thinking of the massacres that occurred there, as happened in places around the Sleeping Ute mountain, that tells a pivotal story of a people who were forced out of the pocket, as it were, and therefore a great sacrifice of an epic people who went elsewhere to continue their long-standing legacy. Meanwhile, the 'desert valley' namesake of Hovenweep is essentially the final footprint of these emigrants to a whole new world, here in New Mexico. Just like Mesa Verde, Betatakin, Chaco, and all the rest of the renowned ruins that were abandoned. This entire region around Cortez was the pulse and nexus of their culture. So, I hope you will return one day and see and feel the prehistoric significance of this so-called final stand dwellings. Thanks for posting your comments.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 08:09:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  we drove thru a on a cold cold december day (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest

    i believe. i was entertaining my toddler in the backseat so don't recall it real well. she's all grown up now, so time to head back to the 4 corners area and spend some time with our hiking boots on the ground!

    "None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps" Thurgood Marshall

    by UTvoter on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 05:37:45 AM PDT

  •  One of my favorite Anasazi sites! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest

    Thanks for posting this, Rich! (Although sometimes I'd like to keep gems like this to myself.)

    Something about its (relatively) small scale, its siting and perhaps the lack of crowds of tourists give Hovenweep a sort of peaceful beauty.

    When a whole nation is roaring Patriotism at the top of its voice, I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and the purity of its heart. - Emerson

    by foolrex on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 09:51:10 AM PDT

    •  on the hole I agree with you. . . (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      foolrex, RiveroftheWest

      a gem of an archeological ruin none of us want to see over trampled by tourists. Then again, I have to say most people behave very well when visiting ruins, national parks and monuments, at least here in the Southwest. And it sometimes amazes this really is the case. I think so many folks sense a connection to the land, and with respect to ruins, a sacred or spiritual connection. Hence, the park and forest service and state park folks and BLM does a damn fine job of maintaining order, and so does the majority of the public. On another note, Hovenweep is a bit off the beaten path, and most tourists, when visiting the Four Corners region, usually have the bigger places in mind (to visit). So, the census count passing thru the visitor's gate, at H-weep, is still well below the average. So, I guess you and I, foolrex, will just have to bide our patience with others and share what we both obviously love. Actually, I am always happy when folks visit such places, because I think they leave with an enlighten feeling just how important these special places are as invaluable resources, both natural and human history. As always, thanks for posting your comment and I just love this picture of one Hovenweep's "castles."

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Fri Apr 26, 2013 at 02:06:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hovenweek (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest

    I have a dumb question - is there any kind of mixture between the rocks to solidify the rocks together - like masonry? The pictures of these structures are awesome and makes a person feel very small and ordinary. Meaning the awe we feel when we see what people accomplished so long ago. Wish I was there gazing up at them right now! Thanks for writing about the out of the way sites and monuments that don't get enough attention (but as someone else said, it is also nice to know it is not being overrun.)

    •  mud is mortar. . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest

      mixed with detritus and such and spit and twigs is what kept the dwellings intact. Of course, over time it was necessary to repair parts of the dwellings, including, especially roofs. The other thing is no one dwelling was ever occupied more than 30 or so years by the builders. Other generations or tribal people may have come along, and then either decided to make new dwellings or spruce up the old. Wab and dabble, comes to mind (the process of keeping the stones together. These folks were also excellent masonry types who knew how to build a building and do it right. All the creaturely comforts of home, except, of course, a stereo, tv, jacuzzi, and so on. HA!

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Sun Apr 28, 2013 at 06:46:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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